Kickoff Sunday, Sep 19th 1:00pm Eastern

Saints (
24) at

Panthers (
21)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Saints Run D
2nd DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
25th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
3rd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
13th DVOA/9th Yards per pass
Panthers Run D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
1st DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
12th DVOA/32nd Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW ::

BY Mjohnson86 >>
  • The offensive matchup for both teams will likely be much more difficult in Week 2 than it was in Week 1
  • Both QBs had very good openers as the new starter for their respective teams, but coaches will have reason to “hide” them this week as long as it is close
  • This game projects for a slower pace with neither team likely to open up a big lead early on

HOW New Orleans WILL TRY TO WIN ::

The game plan for the Saints this year is pretty clearly going to be less aggressive than they have been in past years, at least until Jameis Winston fully gains Sean Payton’s trust. While Winston had a very good Week 1, his fantasy points are misleading as he was averaging under 5 yards per attempt on 19 passes before a 55 yard TD against Packers backups in the 4th quarter. I would expect more of the same approach here with a heavy dose of rushes and short passes for the Saints. Their defense has a significant advantage at the line of scrimmage and the Saints will likely feel no reason to be overly aggressive and let Winston make mistakes early — instead relying on their defense to force mistakes from the Panthers and create short fields for Winston and the offense. The Panthers defense plays a very high rate of Cover-3 defense which limits big plays and forces things underneath. Payton will be aware of that and will likely be hesitant to let Jameis try to push the ball down the field without any big time downfield threats. This plays right into what the Saints would like to do, however, and they should be able to move the ball well — even if it is at a methodical pace.

HOW Carolina WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Carolina faces a big challenge in the Saints’ defensive front and will need to be ready for a big jump in competition after handling the lowly Jets in Week 1. Sam Darnold had a respectable opener, but the name of the game here will be protecting him against a defense that just made the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers, and last year’s highest scoring offense look horrible. Expect a lot of pressure and exotic blitzes from the Saints as they attempt to make Darnold “see ghosts” as he did in his infamous Monday Night meltdown against the Patriots two years ago. A heavy dose of runs, screens, and short passes will be in order for the Panthers with their primary playmakers being given the ball in space. The Panthers should also look to use some creative concepts and play-action to try to keep the Saints somewhat on their heels and reduce the pressure they can bring. The Panthers will have limited opportunities due to the pace that the game is likely to play out with. If they are unable to run the ball effectively and have short possessions ending in punts early in the game, then they will likely turn more to short passing and try to find isolated matchups where they can move the ball through the air in a quick manner that doesn’t put Darnold under heavy pressure

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW :: 

Due to the nature of conservative attacks both teams are likely to employ, the game clock should move right along and limit possessions for both sides — making efficiency in the red zone and the turnover battle paramount in determining if this game is able to exceed expectations. If leaning one way, the Saints are more likely to get a multiple score lead and force the hand of the Panthers than the other way around. This is simply because the Saints have a better, more aggressive defense and also have one of the best offensive lines in football — so they should be able to run the ball more efficiently from the outset and not need to get more aggressive. 

All that being said, this game projects to play with a slower pace but that is a very fragile projection due to the history of mistakes that both QBs have had throughout their careers — which could quickly flip the game on its head — and the playmakers that each side has and the volume of touches those stars should see, giving them more opportunities to turn in a big play that can flip the switch on a game

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • After getting blasted nearly every game during the first 3 weeks of each of five Dennis Allen seasons, NOR had one of its best performances of the Dennis Allen era vs GB
  • NOR mostly shut down TB’s offense in W1 last season before getting creamed in the weeks following by Carr & Rodgers
  • Along with several coaching staff members on the COVID list, NOR will be without impact starters Lattimore, Davenport, Onyemata on defense and Thomas, Tre’Quan, McCoy on offense
  • NOR won both of these matchups in 2020 vs Bridgewater (27-24 // 33-7)

Sam Darnold:

  • Teddy’s two games vs NOR in 2020: 254:2 // 176:0:2
  • Darnold scored 20+ DK pts in just 8/38 games with NYJ (just one of 30+)
  • Darnold scored 20.1 DK pts in his first game for CAR
  • NOR allowed the 5th fewest QB DK pts in 2020, including zero 300yd passers, however each QB in the first five weeks scored 20+ DK pts
  • NOR CBs are a rookie (who played well in first game), a street free agent pickup from barely over a week ago, and a solid CB they traded for last week
  • NOR faced the 8th highest pass rate in 2020

CAR WRs:

  • CAR WR targets in W1: Moore (8) // Robby (3) // Marshall (6)
  • Every WR was out-targeted by CMC (9)
  • Robby got the deep TD, but Moore was the most consistently productive with 80 yds on his 6 rec
  • CAR WRs vs NOR in 2020: Moore (4:93:2 // 5:101) /// Robby (6:74 // 3:40) // Samuel (6:48 // 7:118)
  • CAR WRs only scored 20+ DK pts together twice in 2020 (RA & DJM vs TB // DJM & CS vs DET); none reached 20 in W1
  • NOR allowed the 7th most explosive pass plays to WRs in 2020
  • Top WRs in games Lattimore missed last 2 seasons: Ridley (5:90) // Golladay (4:62:1) // DJ Moore (6:126:2) // Evans (4:69)

Christian McCaffrey:

  • CMC’s DK scores as a Home Dog since 2018: 21.6 // 26 // 32.8 // 45.9 // 37.5 // 22.8 // 28.4
  • Since Week 9 of 2018, CMC has scored under 24 DK pts just five times in 29 games
  • Two of those five came in W17 blowouts vs NOR in which multiple starters either didn’t play or finish game
  • CMC has 30+ pts in 16 of those 29 games and 35+ in 8 of them
  • No team allowed fewer DK pts to RBs than NOR in 2020, with only DAL & PIT allowing fewer RB rec yds
  • Despite a dramatic change on the defensive line compared to 2020 (only changing further without Davenport now), NOR held the GB RBs to a combined 14 att 42 yds, 3 rec 20 yds
  • RBs to score 20+ DK pts vs NOR since 2018: Saquon (22) // Latavius (20.5) // Zeke (25.6) // CMC (34.3, 22.8, 26) // Mostert (24.9) // Dalvin (28.0) // Sanders (32.6) // Fournette (21.7)
  • That’s 10 RB scores of 20+ DK pts allowed in the last 54 games (18.5%)
  • 10/10 scored a TD /// 4/10 scored 2 TDs /// 7/10 had 5+ rec /// 10/10 had 6+ DK rec pts
  • Of the three without 5 rec, one had 82 yd TD, one caught a WR pass TD, one had 28 rush att, and all three scored 2 TDs
  • Mike Davis & Rodney Smith finished with 8.6 & 11.4 DK pts in 2020 starts vs NOR

Jameis Winston:

  • Winston’s 20 pass att in W1 were the fewest he’s thrown in all but one full game in his career, and it was the fewest passing yds of all of them
  • Brees only threw under 30 pass att in 7 of his 37 full games his last 3 seasons
  • Brees threw 36 & 32 passes vs CAR in 2020, and he didn’t finish the second one due to blowout
  • CAR faced the 7th highest pass rate in 2020, but just four QBs passed for 300+ yds (Herbert, Mahomes, Brady, Cousins); CAR has since added a 1st-RD CB in the draft
  • CAR held rookie Zach Wilson to a 28.7 QBR in W1, but created pressure all game against an offensive line on the opposite end of the spectrum from NOR
  • CAR sacked Brees just 3 times in 2020, with the one resulting in a fumble coming on a play Armstead was out of the game with injury and Burns blew by the backup
  • Losing C Erick McCoy, who started calling the offensive line protections this summer due to the departure of Brees, may be a hit to their overall handling of pressure

NOR WRs:

  • CAR allowed the 10th fewest WR yds in 2020
  • NYJ WRs vs CAR: Davis (5:97:2) // Berrios (5:51) // Mims (1:40) // Moore (1:-3)
  • NOR WRs vs CAR in 2020: Callaway (8:75 // 3:51) // Harris (4:46:1) // Tre’Quan (4:54) // Sanders (9:63:1)
  • NOR WR targets in W1: Callaway (2) // Harris (2) // Hogan (1) // TyMont (1)
  • Callaway dominated target share in preseason when the Saints passed more often
  • CAR allowed the 9th lowest yds/att to WRs in 2020
  • Just five WRs produced 100+ yds and all needed 7+ rec to get there (Evans, Keenan, Ridley, Julio, Tyreek)
  • NOR has only had one non-Thomas/Sanders WR catch 7+ passes in a game in each of the last 3 seasons: Tre’Quan (10) // Ginn (7) // Callaway (8)

NOR TEs:

  • Cook received 5+ targets in 6/15 games as NOR lead TE in 2020
  • Trautman had 6 targets on 20 Jameis passes, including a wide open drop in the RZ
  • Juwan Johnson caught his two EZ targets for TDs, showcasing his leaping ability
  • NOR schemed up screen plays for each guy in W1

Alvin Kamara:

  • AK converted 50% of his Green Zone rushes into TDs (14 of 28) in 2020, and continued his uber efficiency with another score on what was basically a handoff vs GB
  • Kamara’s four W1 targets only trailed Trautman, and he rushed 20 times (the second most att in his career behind only the 6 TD game in 2020)
  • CAR allowed the 4th most RB rec in 2020
  • 11 RBs in 16 games finished with 90+ yds vs CAR in 2020
  • Kamara has finished with 90+ total yds in every game with Brees/Winston & no Thomas since last year
  • AK’s DK pts without Thomas: 38.4 // 47.7 // 20.9 // 19.9 // 22.8 // 25.3 // 18.4 // 59.2 // 18.1
  • AK vs CAR in 2020: 14:83, 8:65 (22.8 DK pts) // NOR scored 3 TDs inside the 5 through Brees that game (2 pass, 1 rush)
  • TyMont produced 18 att 105 yds as the RB in second matchup in 2020

Tony Jones Jr:

  • Murray’s only games over 10 DK pts in 2020: (14:64:2, 1:19) // (12:49, 2:36) // (19:124:2, 1:2) // (4:3, 2:26:1) // (12:72, 3:24)
  • Scores of those games: 35-29 // 24-9 // 31-3 // 29-32 // 52-33
  • NOR was up 35-14 in first one, so 4/5 came in blowout wins
  • Jones Jr produced 50 yds on 11 att in his second game for the Saints (3:13 in CAR W17)